Saving small amounts over time can add up to a nice sum tucked away for larger purchases, college expenses or retirement. If you can’t save a lot each month, no worries—save what you can consistently. Here are some ways to get in the habit.
- Name a goal. Maybe you want to buy a new car, save for a trip to Hawaii or purchase something smaller, like a new pair of jeans. Track your monthly spending to identify what you can do without (like eating out three or four times a week). Once you make changes, save money and get closer to meeting your goal, add another goal to keep you motivated so that you don’t go back to your old habits.
- Build up your savings. It’s important to tuck away some portion of your earnings, even if you have debt. Try to deposit the money in a high-interest savings account to make your money work for you. Set up an automatic transfer into a savings account and don’t touch your savings except for emergencies (sorry—a new pair of shoes on sale does not qualify).
- Turn shopping savings into actual savings. Use coupons and plan menus around what’s on sale in your store circular. When making an online purchase, be sure to look for coupon codes. Use the amount that you saved towards something special down the road.
Check back tomorrow—we’ll give you the skinny on how to cut the fat from your budget and save big bucks off your expenses in 2012.
The article above was written by our newest contributor – Jeanette Pavini – an Emmy award-winning consumer reporter and personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.